Tag Archives: Google

Local Guide Best practice: Choosing a more specific category

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

Selecting the correct category for a point of interest (POI) can be challenging. Sometimes there simply is no category label available that perfectly describes the main characteristics of the POI. An example from my own experience is a particular type of vending machine that you find all over the place in Belgium: one where you can buy bread. Some types of vending machines have their own category (such as coffee vending machine and beauty products vending machine), but not this one (probably also because you don’t really find these in any other country) – and neither is there a category label for vending machine in general.

In other cases the difficulty is that different category labels are available for what basically is the same type of POI. So far, no one has been able to explain to me the difference between a DIY-store and a home improvement store. Feel free to leave a comment if you can shed light into the darkness on this one!

Image by stratman² (2 many pix!) on flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

The issue I want to point in this post, however, is that quite a few points of interest have a category which is not incorrect as such, but also not the best possible one. In almost all cases, the POI then has a general category, where a more specific one is available. Let me give you 2 examples:
* car dealerships: those often have the general car dealer or even garage, but for most popular brands there is a specific category: Ford-dealer, Volkswagen-dealer, Toyota-dealer, etc. (Google doesn’t seem to like French cars, though: Peugeot-dealer and Citroën-dealer are not available)
* sports clubs: these often have the general label sports club, but several popular sports have their own label: football club, tennis club, karate club, etc.

Adding a missing category or replacing the existing one with a more relevant one will bring you 5 points, so you should definitely take this into account when collecting local guides points.

The original article can be found here

 

Disclaimer: the practices described here as best practice are my personal interpretation, and I don’t claim any level of official endorsement.

Local Guide Best practice: Correcting pin location

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

Photo by Joey Csunyo on Unsplash

On Google maps, the placement of most pins, that indicate where exactly a point of interest (POI) is located, is correct. But there is also a considerable amount of pins which are not placed at best possible location. This can be:
* just a little off (in the middle of the road instead of on the building)
* somewhere more or less near to the POI (a bit further down the street, or at an intersection nearby – this is often the case when no house number was entered, or when the house numbers are quite different on either side of the road, e.g. when house number 100 is across house number 77, with 101 being further down the road)
* completely wrong (can be because a business has moved and the pin location was not adapted, or because a common street name, say Main Street, was used with a wrong ZIP code)

As you might imagine correcting the first type is quite easy, the last one quite hard – the ‘worst case’ I’ve seen myself was over 100 km off.

The best approach (when working in the mobile version) is to open Google maps in satellite view and zoom in until pins start popping up. If you Continue reading

Local Guide ‎Best practice: ALL CAPS / all lowercase

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

There are multiple ways in which names of businesses or other points of interests can be written incorrectly. Sometimes you come across downright typing errors where you can suggest a name correction (‘Architcet’ instead of ‘Architect’ is one I have come across myself a couple of days ago), although you should always carefully check that the ‘awkward’ spelling is not intentional (business owners are sometimes very creative and playful with language).

Another problem frequently popping up is the incorrect use of either ALL CAPS (‘CAFE RIO’ instead of ‘Café Rio’) or all lowercase (‘ann’s fashion’ instead of ‘Ann’s Fashion’). Sometimes this is intended, but often it is not (especially in the case of smaller, local businesses). So the real problem is Continue reading

Local Guide Best practice: Entering Opening hours

[This is one of a series of articles originally published on Local Guides Connect]

Entering opening hours correctly can be quite challenging the first time you do it, especially if the shop has different opening hours on different days or is closed for lunch on some days and not on others. The main thing you need to keep in mind is that you need to go through an ‘Add hours’ routine for each unique period of uninterrupted hours that the business is open – which can be just for 1 day of the week or for multiple days of the week. A specific example will no doubt make this complex sounding concept more clear. Let’s say a shop is opened on Monday and Tuesday from 9:00 to 12:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00, then on Wednesday from 9:00 to 13:30 and finally on Saturday from 9:00 to 18:00. To enter these opening hours, you will need to Continue reading

Why you need to claim your company on Google Maps

mapsEarlier this year, Google introduced a new feature for the Android version of Google Maps. This is how Google describes it: “In Google Maps, you can ask and answer questions about the places and business you see. Business owners and others can respond to these Q&As directly.” Very nice feature for the users of Google Maps, right? In my view, it indeed is – but there are some important and potentially problematic aspects of it that both the users of Google Maps and the owners of businesses shown on Google Maps are completely unaware of. Continue reading

Sorry, Watson, but I’m not impressed

When my favourite chat app (used by myself and over a billion other people) figures out all by itself when to use autocomplete and when not to use it, then I will be impressed by machine learning, artificial intelligence, or whatever term you prefer to use. At this moment its performance is nowhere near what I consider to be genuinely intelligent, as it is even unable to figure out which language I am chatting in (although the language of the chat sessions typically depends on the person I am chatting with, so that should be a solid hint for a so-called intelligent system). Obviously I can Continue reading

I gladly give up privacy for convenience

What is it with all these concerns about privacy? As I am spending quite a bit of my time in Germany, and even more because I am working for a German company operating in the IT security space, I am confronted with privacy related issues on a regular basis. But still I fail to see what the problem is.

Have all these people so much to hide that they need to be concerned about whatever they are hiding getting exposed to the party they want to hide it from? (Most likely I imagine that to be either the tax administration or the cheated wife – in the first case: please stop using the public roads that I, but not you, have been paying for; don’t call the fire brigade if your house is on fire, but try putting out the fire yourself; and when you unfortunately have to spend some time in the hospital, pay the full bill yourself). Continue reading